A Horrible Example of Engagement

•September 21, 2010 • Comments Off on A Horrible Example of Engagement

Whether we are talking about engagement, or as Cadbury call it ‘a moment of joy’, there is no doubt that taking consumers ‘beyond the commercial message’ is the topic of the year.  But, it continues to frustrate me that we seem to consider engagement as new territory…

Recently, I was taking a moment to relish some of the campaigns that I have been blessed to be involved in and I came across the following memory.

If you’ve travelled to Europe and the UK you will know and have tasted Skol Lager.  It’s a brand that has virtually no Northern European heritage.  Yet the brand name implies so much history and geographic heritage.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be working with the brand owners in the UK.  Our team had been briefed to create and execute a brand activation campaign across all on-premise venues that poured Skol.  The on-premise execution needed to support the mainstream media campaign featuring the nation’s favourite Nordic – Hagar the Horrible. Take a look at one of the many Hagar TV spots here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrPAPTtoLj4&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh+div-1r-1-HM

I am not claiming our campaign as rocket science but, as we all know engagement comes in all shapes and sizes – and by the way, if our campaign did involve rocket science, it would probably have been too complicated for the audience.

For me the cute part of this tactical campaign was that as part of our on-premise campaign we created unique beer coasters to reflect the various Hagar the Horrible characters.  The holes you can see in each coaster allow our brand drinkers to insert their fingers and create their own Hagar story.  Not only did our customers have fun in the pub but, they also started to collect the coasters and take them home.

Consumer engagement comes in all shapes and sizes – and the concept of taking consumers to a place ‘beyond the commercial message’ has been with us for a long time …


My Best Guess At Effective Marketing

•September 9, 2010 • Comments Off on My Best Guess At Effective Marketing

This piece was borrowed from imediaconnection.com… But, it was a refreshing ‘read’.

Posted by Rob Rose on September 7th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

There’s a wonderful scene in Star Trek 4 (the one where they rescue the whales) where just prior to the Enterprise going back in time, Kirk asks Spock if he’s accounted for the variable mass of whales and water in his time re-entry calculations.  In other words, if he hasn’t calculated this correctly, they could overshoot their return home by hundreds of years.   Spock replies that Mr. Scott cannot give him exact figures on the whale weight so… “he will make a guess”.   “A guess?  You. Spock?  That’s extraordinary”, says Kirk.   Spock is confused and believes that Kirk didn’t understand him.  And, McCoy, always one to prod Spock says “No, Spock.  He means that he feels safer about your guesses than most other people’s facts.”

What’s Your Best Guess

Saying that using analytics to drive marketing decisions has become an in-vogue activity among marketers is a bit like saying that Justin Bieber is popular with the young girls.  In short, marketers have the Bieber Fever for testing and measuring.  Or maybe it’s the Measure Pleasure… or, maybe Number Hunger… Okay, I’ll stop now…

Anyway, one of the things we need to remember as we start to imbue our marketing with more measurement right from the beginning is that if we start out with a poor hypothesis – even the best measurement and/or testing process is useless.

There’s a wonderful new book that I’ve just finished reading called Street-Fighting Mathematics – The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving by Sanjoy Mahajan.  If you like math problems – it’s definitely for you.  And, the author opens the book up with this: “too much mathematical rigor teaches rigor mortis: the fear of making an unjustified leap even when it lands on a correct result.”

That’s just a wonderful way to start a book – and is an amazing lesson for us – not only in just looking at A/B Testing philosophies – but in all facets of our Analytics data.  Our marketing analytics are not just pass/fail.  If we don’t start out with a compelling, creative and (at least somewhat) rational “guess” – we will get meaningless numbers feeding flawed insight producing ineffective marketing strategies.  In short, as someone told me the other day – analytics in this sense just helps us fail more efficiently.

As measurement and testing become more and more a part of what we do for a living, don’t forget that it’s the unique “you” that brings the value to the marketing table.  The smarter the test, the more relevant the message, the more creative the campaign – this is what produces measurement that means something.

Today’s digital marketing should not be a practice of decimal points.  It’s a fluid guessing game of getting to the right answer even if we can’t show our work in the margins.  Analytics and testing data help us do this by providing benchmarks and insight into what’s working and what’s not.   And even if it’s you – you have to find your Spock.  Find the people on your team who can help you make the best guess possible.  As another mathematician George Polya said “a method is a trick I’ve used twice”.

The Greatest Teaching Tool Since the Printing Press?

•August 27, 2010 • Comments Off on The Greatest Teaching Tool Since the Printing Press?

Although there have been a few negative comments about this iPad book we should remember that this app is fantastic in how it mashes up so much of the best of digital and interactive thinking…

This review is from an obviously happy customer!  I keep twisting and turning my iPad with childlike wonder while reading the familiar tale of the adventures of a girl named Alice. For the first time in my life, I’m blown away by an interactive book design.

Alice for the iPad is a cute app, which contains a slightly interactive version of a beloved story. It’s not interactive to the point of annoyance and tackiness, but instead full of clever little touches like mushrooms that you can toss around a room with a twist of your iPad or an Alice who grows and shrinks as you move your gadget around.  I couldn’t be more fascinated by it. It’s quite possible the cleverest book I’ve seen so far and exactly how I dreamed books would look one day.


Research Claims TV Viewers are Media Multitaskers

•August 27, 2010 • Comments Off on Research Claims TV Viewers are Media Multitaskers

By Katherine Levy, mediaweek.co.uk, 26 August 2010, 04:36PM

Almost two-thirds (58%) of people regularly mix their television viewing with other types of media, according to new research conducted online.

Media stacking: more people now browse the internet while watching TV.

The data comes from online surveys of 2,086 people aged 18 to 55 for YouGov’s social TV trends report, which was commissioned by  social media agency Diffusion.

The habit, which Diffusion refers to as “media stacking”, although it does not claim to have coined the phrase, describes the behaviour of consumers who use Facebook on their laptops, send text messages on their mobiles and listen to the radio, at the same time as watching TV.

It found that the habit is becoming normal practice and is particularly prevalent among 18- to 24-year-olds, with 76% saying they “regularly” browsed the internet while watching TV.

Social networking sites are the most common distraction, with 40% of female TV viewers updating their profiles while watching TV, compared to 29% of men.

Almost half of all adults and 86% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they had used channels such as mobile SMS, Facebook or instant messenger to discuss what they were watching.

With TV and the internet set to converge further with new-generation TV sets, the report also asked consumers which websites they would most like to have access to through their TVs.

Google was the most popular site, with 28% stating they would like to access the search engine.

A quarter of those surveyed said they would like to access online retail sites such as Amazon and Asos via their TV sets while watching programming. A similar percentage (26%) would also like to be able to access social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Just over one in 10 adults claimed to use a video games console while watching TV content.

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

Reaching The Simultaneous Media Multitasking Consumers

•August 27, 2010 • Comments Off on Reaching The Simultaneous Media Multitasking Consumers

This is from 2005 – but, it still resonates as a challenge for multi-media platform planners.

It used to be that your teenage kids were the only ones listening to music, zipping off instant messages, searching the Internet, and talking on the telephone all at the same time. But the explosion of technology and choices has pushed media multitasking across the generational divide. Everyone is now a simultaneous consumer of media. Those new patterns of consumption create challenges and opportunities for companies that can navigate the terrain. 

Marketers, in particular, are struggling with ways to reach people in a world of “foreground”  and “background” media–the latter being a fade-in, fade-out form that grabs consumers’ attention only occasionally. Think of the TV show that runs at a low hum while you work on a computer. Or the podcast that plays between telephone calls. The challenge: projecting the effectiveness of any given message in this multilayered world.

The Milkybars Are on Me!

•August 8, 2010 • Comments Off on The Milkybars Are on Me!

There is a certain generation that now like white chocolate as a result of eating Milybar as kids – that includes me! It was even recommended by   my doctor after having my tonsils removed at the age of 4 years.

So, this UK Milkybar campaign tugs at my heartstrings – but, that’s exactly what the brief appears to require. The strategy seems to fairly obvious – but, who cares, it’s a fun and involving campaign for the UK market.   If you visit Youtube you will see the  support media.  Nothing more to be said.  Visit: milkybar.co.uk to dress up and audition…   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGcIUitNlGQ

Coffee Just Got More Social

•August 2, 2010 • Comments Off on Coffee Just Got More Social

This is a post to get something off my chest!  What frustrates me in the communications industry – one of the many things – is that we seem to fight amongst ourselves rather than focus on creating a better future… for our clients.

For example.  Recently, the head of a local DM agency told me that her digital and paper-based DM teams were/are at war with each other.  It sounds to me like turf-war. But, why do these perfectly matched partners need to bang their chests?

The current ‘Great Debate’ though seems to be which part of ‘the’ agency owns Social Media…  The argument seems to range from: The tool features the word ‘media’, so the media department own it – all the way through to the P.R department because the SocMe is much more about investment of headhours rather than the purchase of ad units and 30 second blocks of interruptive/disruptive attention.

So, first the goods news.  Take a look at this link, then we can move on with the conversation.


Even Starbucks though has had some issues with one of its partners but, in general for me the beauty of this commitment to SocMe is that it is ongoing and fluid… SocMe is part of the DNA of Starbucks not an add on.